Dr. Zhixuan Zhou

Zhixuan studied chemistry at Sun Yat-sen University and obtained his B.S. in 2013. He then moved to the University of Utah, USA, where he completed his Ph. D. research on functional supramolecular coordination complexes under the supervision of Professor Peter J. Stang. He moved to Germany in March 2019 and joined the group of Professor Tanja Weil at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. He was awarded a Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship in March 2020.

Research Interest

Biological systems have evolved to form a wide variety of nanoarchitectures fundamental to biological functions. The spontaneous organization of these structures, termed self-assembly, relies on interactions between specific molecular building blocks, a strategy that can also be replicated in an artificial setting for advanced material designs. We use metal-directed self-assembly for the bottom-up creation of materials with emergent biological functions. For example, we use coordination-driven self-assembly to construct discrete supramolecular complexes as monodisperse, modular platforms for combining disparate bioactive species in precise arrangements to realize desired biological functions. On the other hand, we design metallopeptides that self-assembles in living systems in situ to induce structural-based biological functions, such as disrupting energy homeostasis and metabolic adaptation of cancer cells.

Selected Publications

Zhou, Z.; Maxeiner, K.; Moscariello, P.; Xiang, S.; Wu, Y.; Ren, Y.; Whitfield, C.; Xu, L.; Kaltbeitzel, A.; Han, S. et al.; Mücke, D.; Qi, H.; Wagner, M.; Kaiser, U.; Landfester, K.; Lieberwirth, I.; Ng, D. Y. W.; Weil, T.: In Situ Assembly of Platinum(II)-Metallopeptide Nanostructures Disrupts Energy Homeostasis and Cellular Metabolism. Journal of the American Chemical Society 144 (27), pp. 12219 - 12228 (2022)
Li, G.; Zhou, Z.; Yuan, C.; Guo, Z.; Liu, Y.; Zhao, D.; Liu, K.; Zhao, J.; Tan, H.; Yan, X.
Trackable Supramolecular Fusion: Cage to Cage Transformation of Tetraphenylethylene-Based Metalloassemblies
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 59 (25), pp. 10013-10017 (2020)
Zhou, Z.; Liu, J.; Huang, J.; Rees, T. W.; Wang, Y.; Wang, H.; Li, X.; Hui, C.; Stang, P. J.
A Self-assembled Ru-Pt Metallacage as a Lysosome-Targeting Photosensitizer for Two-Photon Photodynamic Therapy
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116 (41), pp. 20296-20302 (2019)
Zhou, Z.; Chen, D.-G.; Saha, M. L.; Wang, H.; Li, X.; Chou, P.-T.; Stang, P. J.
Designed Conformation and Photoluminescence Properties of Self-Assembled Phenazine-Cored Platinum (II) Metallacycles
Journal of the American Chemical Society 141 (13), pp. 535-5543 (2019)
Zhou, Z.; Cory, C. E.; Bo, S.; Li, X.; Stang, P. J.; Cook, T. R.
Understanding the Effects of Coordination and Self-Assembly on an Emissive Phenothiazine
Journal of the American Chemical Society 141 (8), pp. 3717-3722 (2019)
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